BERLIN, Germany -- Five Tajik men with links to Afghanistan have received prison sentences in Germany for "Islamic State" (IS) activity.
A German court on Tuesday (May 31) convicted the five men for their membership in an IS cell that planned militant attacks in Germany and abroad.
From 2019, the men were in contact with a leading IS member in Afghanistan who transmitted to them radical militant ideology.
Plotting attacks in Germany and Albania
German police in April 2020 announced the arrest of four of the men. Albanian police arrested the fifth man, Komron B., the same month and extradited him to Germany in June that year.
The men, aged 25 to 34, received prison terms of between three years and eight months to nine and a half years, a court in Dusseldorf said.
They are believed to have moved in the same circles as the Tajik-born perpetrator of the Stockholm truck attack of April 2017, as well as the Macedonian-Austrian national who gunned down four people in Vienna in November 2020.
Sunatullokh K., 26, was handed the longest sentence for planning to fatally shoot a YouTuber critical of Islam, who is based in Neuss, Germany.
The assault was foiled by investigators, said the court.
Farhodshoh K., 33, received eight and a half years for plotting a contract murder in Albania.
The court said the killing never took place because the perpetrators had "doubts about the identity of the target person during surveillance".
The other three men, 34-year-old Muhammadali G., 29-year-old Azizjon B. and Komron B., 25, were convicted for their participation in a terrorist organisation.
"Driven by their radical Islam conviction," they had sought to carry out "jihad" for the IS, said the court.
All five had arrived in Germany as refugees.
IS-linked terrorists have committed several violent attacks in Germany in recent years, with the worst being a ramming attack at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12.